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Displays GUI Shark Transportation

Pioneer Preps Laser Heads-Up Display For Cars 116

Posted by Soulskill
from the somebody-hack-it-to-play-space-invaders dept.
itwbennett writes "On display at Japan's Ceatec show this week is a heads-up display from Pioneer that links with a smartphone's navigation system. The prototype uses a laser to display bright, high-contrast, full-color images on a screen that would be mounted above the dashboard so drivers don't have to take their eyes fully off the road in order to receive driving instructions from their robot overlords. The demonstration model was hooked up to an Android-based phone and displayed a navigation map on the left-hand side and an animated Android robot on the right-hand side that passed on information to drivers. 'We are currently aiming for an after-market product, but we are talking with car manufacturers,' said Masaya Hashida, tech manager at Pioneer's smart vision business development department." An anonymous reader points out another gadget shown at Ceatec: a pair of augmented reality glasses that projects information to a user's peripheral vision and weighs only 20 grams.
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Pioneer Preps Laser Heads-Up Display For Cars

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  • soooo.... (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    i can finally watch porn while driving....safely?

    • Well.... (Score:4, Funny)

      by MrEricSir (398214) on Friday October 08, 2010 @01:13PM (#33837940) Homepage

      Yes, but only this film:
      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0115964/ [imdb.com]

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by oldspewey (1303305)
        I remember seeing that film in the theatres back in '96. Well, I didn't see the whole film, only the parts leading up to me walking out thinking "WTF? I paid actual money for this?"
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Omestes (471991)

          I remember pondering what lesson I was supposed to learn. I'm pretty sure it was "everyone is an asshole, except that one Mexican guy". I'm sure that is applicable to my day-to-day life, though the message was a bit hurt by me pondering WHY that one Mexican guy wasn't an ass, was it an oversight by the film makers, or what it intentional? They went out of their way to paint everyone as sympathetic racists, except that ONE guy?!

          Much like all the of the recent politically correct movie genre, I'm confused.

        • Saw it on Sci-Fi Channel.

          They made a big deal about it, and warned it might offend some people. Well it didn't offend me - I just thought it was weird. People get off because of car crashes? Ooooo-kay.

      • by berwiki (989827)
        James Spader is in EVERYTHING
    • by sdnoob (917382)

      Coming soon..... GTA5: IRL

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      i can finally watch porn while driving....safely?

      You need to keep both hands on the wheel, so, no.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcgrew (92797) *

      You nailed it. The idea sounds incredibly retarded, dangerous as all getout.

      The demonstration model was hooked up to an Android-based phone and displayed a navigation map on the left-hand side and an animated Android robot on the right-hand side that passed on information to drivers.

      Jesus, I have trouble concentrating on reading the paper with moving flashing doodads on the page distracting me. People can't even talk on the phone without driving worse than a drunk!

      This is the dumbest idea I've heard of in a

  • Of course, navigation is one obvious application of this, but coupled with a front-mounted IR sensor, it could also provide obstacle detection and highlighting during night time driving.

    I wonder what they have in the pipeline!

    • an animated Android robot on the right-hand side that passed on information to drivers

      Am I the only one who thought of Mr. Clippy when I read this?

      P.S.
      If the quote is messed up it's because for some reason /. has disabled my ability to cut and paste.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by gagol (583737)
        The cute animations can and will distract attention. This alone may pose a threat to driving. I myself tested driving with a GPS unit and found it distracting and just another excuse to not develop your sense of orientation. I prefer to rely on my own skills, if I get lost, I have maps in my car and pull over to consult them instead of trying to do too much at the same time while driving.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by BasilBrush (643681)

          The cute animation is indeed the worst idea since clippy. But I thoroughly disagree with your comments on GPS generally.

          It's often not possible (illegal) to pull over. Meanwhile your mind can become distracted from the lower level functions of driving by the problem of trying to work out where you should be going. And stress levels can rise if you become lost or don't know if you will be late to your destination. It's far better to delegate the navigation task to a machine that can do a far better job of it

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by sznupi (719324)

            Though people overdo - I've seen far too many times to count a car from my (small / impossible to get lost in) place, driving directly towards it on a ubermain route & short distance away, in the night, with GPS unit blasting at their eyes with its screen at full brightness.

            And that's when it's easy to notice (despite not that many people having satnav in my part of the woods) / how many other times GPS units are used in a detrimental or outright dangerous way?

    • or make a steering wheel with a chording keyboard in the grips so one can text/email more safely than people do now. (yes i know it'd be better if people didn't do those things, but laws aren't that effective at curbing such widespread, minor behavior.)

    • by aenea (34844)

      There are BMW's that do that already.

  • by RevWaldo (1186281) on Friday October 08, 2010 @01:14PM (#33837946)
    I put my trust in the force when I drive, and the plastic Jesus on my dashboard.

    .
    • by digitaldc (879047) *
      "Almost there....almost there.....AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" *EXPLOSION* & dramatic swell of music
      • This post quotes a porno movie?

        My navigator is neither a GPS or a HUD. It's a AAA Atlas that I acquired for free, and I can hold it up in front of me if I need to.

    • by Dabido (802599)
      I have a shark on my dashboard specifically for my laser heads up display!
  • by EkriirkE (1075937) on Friday October 08, 2010 @01:16PM (#33837960) Homepage

    Do not look forward with remaining eye.

  • by schwit1 (797399) on Friday October 08, 2010 @01:20PM (#33838010)

    More distractions while driving. Is it too much to ask that people drive when behind the wheel?

    If you NEED to use a phone while on the road please think of the people around you - carpool, use public transportation or take a taxi.

    • by seinman (463076) on Friday October 08, 2010 @01:23PM (#33838044) Homepage Journal
      I hate people who try to tell me what I can and can't do while driving. I'm typing this post while driving up I-95 as we speak, and let me tell you, it's perfectly sa
      • > I'm typing this post while driving up I-95 as we speak, and let me tell you, it's perfectly sa

        Uh oh. Candlejack has taken up hitchhi

      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by StikyPad (445176)

        I'm typing this post while driving up I-95

        I don't think sitting in a parking lot is technically driving.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by bhcompy (1877290)
      Screw it man. When I'm dogfighting through traffic on the 405 I need access to radar on my HUD to watch out for bogeys trying to get in my blind spot. I AM driving with this kind of setup
    • by Mashiki (184564)

      I will say that HUD's are nice, very nice. Expensive as hell, but very nice. You're easily looking at paying 4x the amount for a windshield replacement if that ever cracks too. But yeah, too much crap? Too much of a pain, then again not enough of a distraction you're more likely to fall asleep(see the area between London and Windsor).

      • Am I way off?

        ...on a screen that would be mounted above the dashboard...

        This seems to me that it wouldn't be part of your windshield at all.

      • by Sorny (521429)

        I've had 2 cars with HUD. Both C5 generation Corvettes, and the difference in windshield price is about 2x-3x as much for a HUD windshield vs non-HUD. I had to have the windshield replaced in my old C5 and it ran about $1500 for the HUD windshield, whereas a standard windshield was around $800 (no-deductible glass coverage is a no-brainer). Granted, these are not LASER setups, but it will still require different optical properties for the plastic layer in the glass compared to standard. Note that with curre

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The Airforce puts information in a HUD so their pilots will be distracted and perform poorly. Yup, that's it.

      • by Osgeld (1900440)

        the air-force doesn't have twitter on theirs

      • by kent_eh (543303)
        The airforce spends a lot of time and effort training their pilots.
        The majority of drivers learned from someone in the family, who was never properly trained themselves.
        If there was proper driver training and testing these shows [wikipedia.org] wouldn't be able to exist :

        * Australia's Worst Driver * Österreichs schlechtester Autofahrer * Y'a pas pire conducteur * Canada's Worst Driver * Canada's Worst Drivers vs. The World - similar to World's Worst Driver * Danmarks Værste Bilist

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Distractions are one thing, but I would love to have a HUD in my car that displayed the information that normally requires taking your eyes off the road (such as speed and fuel levels) and which would then open the door for adding safety features (such as displaying the relative locations of vehicles nearby and thus eliminating the need to turn to check your blind spots as well as augmenting your view of the road ahead and accentuating potential obstacles such as large furry mammals that tend to congregate

      • ...and which would then open the door for adding safety features

        I'm pretty sure that if your HUD opened your door while you were driving it would be the opposite of a safety feature...

      • in case you never figure it out, there is a way of using your side view mirrors to eliminate your blindspots: http://www.cartalk.com/content/features/mirrors/ [cartalk.com] no need for fancy gps top down view for that, or taking your eyes off the road.
    • They could do it in a way that it's less distracting. But the display they have contains all sorts of data that the driver doesn't need. It's a total mess and an invitation to disaster.

      I think a HUD that shows just an arrow of which way you need to turn, along with a distance indicator could be fine. Maybe both could start out as fairly low-contrast and get to be higher contrast (or brighter/ more saturated colors) as you're getting closer, but there's no reason to show the top-down view of your car o
      • by gstoddart (321705)

        but there's no reason to show the top-down view of your car on a map so that you have to read the frickin' map while you're trying not to kill your family and other innocent bystanders as you hurtle down the road in your two-ton death-mobile

        Agreed, the lookdown view for GPS systems was a huge enhancement. I don't want want to be looking at a map while I'm driving. I want to see that my second left is where I need to go, or that the road curves ahead.

        Trying to correlate a standard map view with my driving

    • by dlt074 (548126)

      i think a good navigation system helps safety.

      though you're not alone in this thinking and our benevolent, good intentioned, rulers/overlords are right behind you. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-10-08/lahood-weighs-urging-u-s-ban-on-all-driver-phone-use-in-cars.html [bloomberg.com]

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      More distractions while driving. Is it too much to ask that people drive when behind the wheel?

      It's a matter of degrees, and how you do it.

      My car has bluetooth in the stereo, so if I take a call in my car while I'm driving, the car is the cell phone and I can still drive with both hands. I've got a GPS nav attached to my window -- it's in the middle of my window, below the rear view, and not above the horizon of the hood. So, it's in my field of view when I need it, and something I can ignore when I don't

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      I would rather that Pioneer simply make Car stereos and nav units that did not SUCK.

      Honestly their UI is horrible at best. How people tolerate the half assed user interface of aftermarket car stereos I'll never understand.

    • More distractions while driving. Is it too much to ask that people drive when behind the wheel?

      Navigation is a driving task. Drivers are less distracted if they delegate the task of choosing routes through unfamiliar territory to a machine.

    • by hedwards (940851)
      I think that if this technology is considered OK for military pilots, I think that it's OK for people driving. But it all depends upon what it's used for and what's permitted. Having it show navigation information and possibly highlight signs for you would probably increase safety significantly.

      And I'm sure that in the future they'll have it so that it highlights the lane markets and gives you an indication where you are in the lane.

      Beyond that, I think that when they figure out how to have it tell yo
    • Agreed! These suckers are going to be networked as well. You know what they say, "Complex systems collapse". Just imagine the software asking if you wanted to install the latest upgrades while you are trying to drive... imagine spam attacks... imagine porn attacks, on your windscreen, while driving around in public! Not good!
  • Oh Crap (Score:4, Funny)

    by GrumpySteen (1250194) on Friday October 08, 2010 @01:22PM (#33838030)

    "...an animated Android robot"

    Don't be fooled. It's Clippy in disguise.

    "You appear to be driving along the edge of a cliff. Can I help you with that?"

    • Actually, from the second link: "In the mock-up shown off at Japan's annual tech show Ceatec, a virtual Kyoto cityscape was created where a character, not unlike Window's animated paperclip, pops up to guide a person around the city"
  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Friday October 08, 2010 @01:24PM (#33838052)
    ...what happens when the computer or display goes haywire or sends you in to an uncharted area? Do you follow your sense of sight or do you just drive off the cliff? (too bad they didn't have these for Segways)

    FTA: "The prototype uses a laser to display bright, high-contrast, full-color images on a screen that would be mounted above the dashboard, between the driver and the windscreen. To the driver the projected images would appear in the lower part of the windscreen."

    Gives new meaning to the term 'distracted driving'
    • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Friday October 08, 2010 @01:27PM (#33838088)
      People do this anyway with hand-held or dash-mounted GPS navigation. You hear stories all the time of people driving down closed streets, or through construction areas all because their GPS told them to even though there are plenty of signs warning them. People are going to be idiots and not pay attention to where they're going regardless.
      • by digitaldc (879047) *
        Yeah, I especially loved this one... http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2008/10_07/polshsatnav_308x385.jpg [dailymail.co.uk]
      • Some people were doing stupid things like that before there were sat-navs. If you've got any evidence that people do it more often when using a sat-nav, then I'm interested. But just the information that some people with sat-navs STILL do stupid things is not particularly interesting.

    • by srmalloy (263556)

      FTA:
      "The prototype uses a laser to display bright, high-contrast, full-color images on a screen that would be mounted above the dashboard, between the driver and the windscreen. To the driver the projected images would appear in the lower part of the windscreen."

      Gives new meaning to the term 'distracted driving'

      Not until Amazon.com releases a Kindle app for it.

    • by Sloppy (14984)

      ...what happens when the computer or display goes haywire or sends you in to an uncharted area?

      That will never happen, because it doesn't have the capacity to "send" you anywhere. It can only display advisory informat--wait, this is going to be wired into the car's control system? NOOOOOO!!

  • It should show speed / other gauges as that will be a big help no need to look down to see your speed / look at your car gauges.

    • by Sorny (521429)

      This style of HUD has been available on Corvettes for over a decade...

      It kicks ass!

  • ...unless your name is Zaphod.

    • It's actually "Head's-Up" display, which is a shortening of the original terminology "The Head Is Up" Display.

      • Ooops. The term is older than I thought. It originates with baseball and refers to all the players having all their heads up & being alert while playing. The oldest citation I could find comes from 1914.

        • by tsm_sf (545316)
          Ooops. The term is older than I thought. It originates with baseball.

          Fly that geek flag with pride, man.
  • awesome! (Score:5, Funny)

    by fred fleenblat (463628) on Friday October 08, 2010 @01:46PM (#33838308) Homepage

    HEY what would be awesome is a 3D color display of the cars, pedestrians and roadway ahead of my vehicle.
    that would be awesome!

    • That's available now, but only for 8 to 12 hours per 24 hour period. Something about the planetary rotation disrupts the lighting system on a regular basis. There are also non-trivial issues with good system performance during so called "weather" events.

    • Honestly, the HUD can be very useful. I've seen a few stories about companies working on augmenting reality to help people drive.

      For example at night, in fog, or in rain infrared and other sensors can see things that you can't. the HUD could show you were these objects are. Things like lines on the road, cars, pedestrians and even show you where they are headed. I know I've been driving a few times where I really couldn't see where I was going because fog, or rain had come in really quickly, but it was mo
  • I, for one, welcome our robot overl...

    The prototype uses a laser to display bright, high-contrast, full-color images on a screen that would be mounted above the dashboard so drivers don't have to take their eyes fully off the road in order to receive driving instructions from their robot overlords.

    Hey, how are we supposed to make jokes about overused memes around here?

  • Green Laser (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kaiser423 (828989)
    So, does this mean that Microvision finally solved the green laser issue? From what I remember, their display is absolute badass packed into a box, but the green lasers on the market now are low volume, are expensive and require some fancy tricks to get them to work, making the overall design more expensive among other things.

    If they ever get a green laser on par with their red or blues, then man this display will take off and you'll see it EVERYWHERE because it will be low power, small enough and cheap
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheEyes (1686556)

      So, does this mean that Microvision finally solved the green laser issue?

      Well, last year-ish [arstechnica.com] was when researchers finally made a true green laser diode; hopefully by now that means they've increased the efficiency so that it's actually practical.

  • I recall seeing a mockup of a system that would actually project an image on the windshield that would appear to be a line hovering above the actual road (above the tops of the cars) tracing the route you need to take. How long till we get that? Granted, it would have to know exactly where the driver's eyes are in order to make sure the positioning is correct, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem.

    • by hedwards (940851)
      It's primarily an issue of cost. The technology has been there for some time, it's just a matter of figuring out how to do it cost effectively. The driver's head doesn't move that much during the course of driving, I suspect the way they'd do that would be similar to the rear view mirror.
  • About freakin time (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday October 08, 2010 @02:30PM (#33838810)

    The last couple of cars I bought I refused the option of a built-in satnav. Nevermind that they are way over-priced compared to portable units - the real problem I have is placement. I can put a portable unit right on the dash in front of me so I barely have to take my eyes off the road. Almost all of the built-in satnavs have their display half-way down the middle console where it is a major distraction to look at. Infiniti, and I think Volvo, used to have satnavs that popped up in the middle of the dashboard so at least the driver did not need to look down into the car in order to see the screen, but for some reason their newer models dropped that design and went to the crappy placement.

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      The last couple of cars I bought I refused the option of a built-in satnav. Nevermind that they are way over-priced compared to portable units - the real problem I have is placement.

      Yeah, the built in ones are a joke -- I remember looking to replace the DVD (yes, DVD) in my wife's old car. It was a 2003 model, and to get a new DVD for the satnav would have been something like $800 or so. You could buy multiple portable devices for that. At that point, the portable ones had way more features than the bui

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Cederic (9623)

      I must be weird. I have a speedometer and other instruments on the dash in front of me. Above those is the windscreen, revealing the world around me.

      I like a built-in satnav because it's out of the way, it isn't blocking key information sources and I can ignore it easily.

      That said, my current car's satnav is built into the top of the dash, which is indeed more sensible than putting it down with the aircon controls.

      (The other advantage of built-in satnav is that you also tend to get better electronics with i

    • by hedwards (940851)
      Just a thought, you'd probably be better off getting one which talks to you. And only looking at it while parked or at a red light to adjust it.
      • Just a thought, you'd probably be better off getting one which talks to you. And only looking at it while parked or at a red light to adjust it.

        Why is that better than having one in my normal field of view?
        My complaint is not that the satnav functionality distracts me,
        it is that putting it outside of my normal field of view makes its use dangerous.

        I'm perfectly fine with my mobile satnav sitting right there on the dash above the
        wheel. In fact, it makes me a better driver because it also displays a speedometer,
        further reducing the distance my eyes need to move in order to monitor operation
        of the vehicle.

    • by thegarbz (1787294)
      What we need is a satnav that can talk instructions but will not light up it's display until it notices you are stationary. Having a satnav in the car, or even glued to the windscreen invites your attention to drift towards it.

      I once ripped the satnav off the dashboard of my mothers car while I was a passenger and threw it at the back. She was dumbfounded when I told her that she proceeded to look directly at the satnav about once every 15 seconds despite the fact we were on a highway and were driving st
  • by Greyfox (87712)
    Will it integrate with my car's weapon systems?
  • For about a second I thought this article was about Pioneer Prppping a new LaserDisc gadget.

    I need to stop living in the past.

  • Why haven't we had this sooner? Seems a no-brainer to put most car display on a HUD. I'm talking basic automotive display not navigation or other distracting display. We need this NOW. Maybe more people would be more conscious of what they are doing, what the condition of the car is and gee, keep their eyes up and more on the road.

    Just my $.02

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      Why haven't we had this sooner?

      Cost. It's that simple.

      That's why Cadillac has had a night-time HUD on their cars for, what, a decade now? Because at that price point, they can jam in a bit of extra tech.

      The guy buying the Dodge Neon? Not so much.

      • by sznupi (719324)

        If that's due to costs, it must be largely a result of artificial product stratification / "options"...

        HUD speed display is easy & inexpensive - if the car uses miles, all you need in almost all cases is two very bright 7-segment numeric displays, hidden at the top of the dashboard and reflecting in the windscreen. Status lights are even easier. Still limiting options to simple & easy ones - arrows coupled to GPS and showing how hard and in which direction (plus perhaps how far by some shrinking col

    • Why haven't we had this sooner? Seems a no-brainer to put most car display on a HUD. I'm talking basic automotive display not navigation or other distracting display. We need this NOW. Maybe more people would be more conscious of what they are doing, what the condition of the car is and gee, keep their eyes up and more on the road.

      Same gripe, and I'll take it further: I'd like to be able to customize the instrument panel in my Crown Vic, but there's a marked lack in aftermarket instrument clusters. If I had investment capital, I'd have been all over this years ago.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        I'd like to be able to customize the instrument panel in my Crown Vic

        Given the primary demographics of Crown Vics (cops, cabs, and old people) it doesn't strike me as a vehicle with a big demand for after market goodies.

        Hondas with coffee-can sized exhaust pipes, however, you can buy anything you want. :-P

  • And some people I know doubted we will see it during the whole upcoming decade. Now, I need to figure out the best layout of body function sensors and translate their readings to a 0-100 numerical values, to be displayed in the corner. Ammo value might have some practical limits...oh well, a crowbar doesn't need it.

    Augmented contact lenses would be even more optimal.

  • I'm curious as to how long this project has been in development. I remember, way back when I was going through my "pimp my ride" phase, more than once did the thought cross my mind to set up a laser graffiti system for my windshield. I figured if people can draw on walls or even buildings with that stuff, why not my own car ? I actually ordered the gadget and tried it out, but it was shooting through the windshield and was more visible from outside than in. I didn't know shit about light polarization ba

  • keeping the frikkin' sharks carrying the lasers alive behind the dash.

  • Blue screen in size of whole windshield?

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